Ion gets cash for reorg operations


A federal bankruptcy judge has given Ion Media Networks the OK to use its cash on hand and access $25 million of new funding as it begins its reorganization in Chapter 11. Ion says it will continue normal operations as it goes through the pre-packaged financial restructuring filed last week.

As the court acted on the so-called “first day requests” for Ion to continue operations under bankruptcy court protection from creditors, the judge approved continued use of cash on hand, as well as access to an additional $25 million of initial funding from a majority of the company’s first lien secured lenders. This funding is part of a proposed financial restructuring that contemplates a significant de-leveraging and injecting additional capital for Ion’s future growth.

“We are pleased with the process thus far and appreciate the support from our senior lenders to reduce our legacy indebtedness and provide cash funding for growth,” said Ion Chairman and CEO Brandon Burgess. “We look forward to working with all of our senior lenders to quickly implement a restructuring that finally provides a clean balance sheet, allowing the company to execute its growth strategy.”

Ion also confirmed that it is in active discussions for the acquisition of further content for the 2009/10 television season, including both off-network syndicated content as well as opportunistic original productions, which it anticipates announcing in coming weeks.